Hey, the doping thread was just closed, but I feel compelled to respond to you as I think your post was a pretty massive misunderstanding/overreaction to what I was saying.
For all of the flippancy of my responses to you, there was nothing wrong with the logic of my post. The fact that people are better than you is not evidence that those who are better are doping, but that fact has nothing to do with the fact that many, if not all, of the major contenders in the major races of professional cycling are doing something that we would consider doping - that is who we are discussing here, not the best amateurs, not the person who always beats you on your commute, the top level pros, in particular the ones capable of competing in the general classification at the major tours.
It is clear that the UCI and WADA are not capable of stopping doping through their testing regimes. The dopers that get caught through testing are the ones that make a mistake in their doping, they overdose it, they don't adequately mask it, the forget the the blood they just transfused had a minute trace of something they were using back when they were training. That the major busts of elite dopers have not been related to testing is evidence of this - Festina, Puerto, and now Armstrong/USPS, these have all been police investigations. Simply put, at the top level the ones who know what they are doing have been able to dope for their entire careers without testing positive. When that is the case, is it any surprise that to compete at the highest level doping has become basically mandatory? We are talking about riders who are all in the top fraction of a percentile of what they do, and who can gain maybe a 5% performance bonus from doping in a way that is, if they do it right, they won't get caught - if your opponent is doing it, you can't afford not to be if you want to compete, because at this level that performance gain is a major difference.
Even then, not all of the professional peloton are on drugs, not all the best amateurs are either (but there are plenty of amateurs failing doping tests all aroudn the world each year, so I'd say that there are a few who are doing some dabbling). There are plenty of people out there that are talented, dedicated people who train long and hard in order to perform amazing feats of human strength and endurance. That even goes for those professionals who are doping - dope alone won't win you the big races, there is no reason to think that they are working any less hard than those who aren't doping. That doesn't change the fact, though, that drugs have been rampant in the sport, that the best riders have been on them,that the domestiques of those best riders have been on them, that anyone who has wanted to compete with those best teams will also have been on them, and the fact that they did not test positive is simply inadequate proof to the contrary when it is clear how meaningless thousands of negative drug tests have been.
There is no reason to beleive that performance enhancing drug use isn't rampant across all sports at the highest levels. Again, if you look at other sports, the big busts don't come from testing, they come from BALCO labs getting investigated, to use the biggest example. Cycling is far more interested in testing its atheletes than any other sport - many hardly do anything to test athletes. There is no reason to beleive that the programs of systematic doping that work for cyclists without triggering negative drugs tests are used only by cyclists, so all you can say about the other sports is that they are less likely to pick up the mistakes due to their far less rigorous testing programs.
All of this doesn't excuse or legitimse drug use, nor does it give you any reason to beleive that anyone better than you is only better through drug use, which were the points you were making. It is simply a description of how things are and have been and will likely to continue to be without fairly major reforms (including the removal of people from the sport who have been complicit in this situation for a number of decades and still run the system from top to bottom).
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